When Ellen Nixon toured Regional One Health, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is one of the places she remembered most. “The babies were so tiny and helpless,” she says, “and the incredible work they do in the NICU at Regional One Health has saved countless lives, especially since Memphis has such a high rate of infant mortality.”
“I remember seeing the grandmothers, who are volunteers, rocking those tiny babies,” Ellen says, “and I was so moved.” When she got home from that tour of Regional One Health, she knew she wanted to begin donating to Regional One Health Foundation to help provide special equipment and training needed to care for these tiny infants. Back then, her husband Captain Henry Nixon was still on active duty for the Navy in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Ellen had some extra funds, and she felt she could use them to help.
“If you’re blessed with healthy children or grandchildren, unless it touches you personally, you don’t give a lot of thought to the NICU. But to see those babies, and how carefully they’re cared for, and how complex their needs can be, was very emotional for me,” Ellen says. “Your heart can’t help being touched by them.”
“Everyone makes monthly car payments, mortgage payments or payments on credit cards,” Captain Nixon says. “In our planning every month, it’s easy for us to plan to give to the Regional One Health Foundation, too.”
“Everybody can give,” he adds. “There’s a tendency to glamorize the big donors, and I know Regional One Health Foundation certainly appreciates the big donors. They make a huge difference,” Captain Nixon says. “But even though we’re not wealthy, we still see the value of giving. Ellen and I aren’t able to sit down and write a check for lots of money and walk away from the table, but we can donate $100 each month.”
Captain Nixon also gives freely of his time and talents by serving as Vice Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
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